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Is Hypocrisy a salvation issue, or a sanctification issue?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by dms1972, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hope this is the right forum for this topic? If not I will repost in another forum, if Mods let me know which would be better.

    I want to ask about several things.

    But first of all I want to make no bones about my own struggle with sin in my life, I still struggle with both the good I leave undone and laziness, and sometimes visiting websites that I know I should not visit, and being rather too talkative sometimes.

    There is a study on the topic of Hypocrisy by James Spiegel which looks at the issue of hypocrisy from several angles. He makes a distinction between moral weakness and hypocrisy.

    In my thread title I ask is it a salvation issue, or a sanctification issue? If there can be a distinction between moral weakness and hypocrisy, can there also be degrees of hypocrisy, that are not moral weakness, or is hypocrisy simply hypocrisy?

    Spiegel in his book refers to Moliere's play Tarfuffe - The Imposter. In this comedy - Tartuffe is taken into the home of Orgon who shows him kindness, and while there gives the appearance of being a devout soul, but eventually as the story progresses he makes seductive advances towards Orgon's wife Elmire. Some of the other characters in the play are skeptical of Tartuffe's apparent holiness, and others such as Orgon's mother Madam Pernelle are taken in by him for most of the story.

    Well to get back to the thread topic, can hypocrisy be present at times in the life of a christian, or is it only something that affects religious unbelievers?

    Is there a link between deliberate sin and hypocrisy?

    As I see it, it could be a salvation issue or it could be a sanctification issue.

    To take a concrete example: what about being vocal on moral issues when in company of likeminded individuals, and being mostly silent when with people who are not likeminded?

    My own view at the moment is that there are degrees of hypocrisy distinct from moral weakness, but that hypocrisy is like a canker, and it can worsen if its not dealt with.

    One last question - how does one deal with hypocrisy if its present in oneself? How does one "see" it?

    Thanks for reading, replies welcome.
     
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  2. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Is the parable of the unjust debtor a salvation parable or a sanctification parable?
     
  3. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    The only hypocrisy that would be a salvation issue would be if you were hypocritical in your turn to Christ to begin with ( you didn't mean it but act as if you did).
    But it is a sin issue after, confess it up as soon as you recognize it going on. We have many, maybe even 100s of little sins that happen in our lives as Christians because we live in these perishing bodies still. One day that won't be the case, when we go home to be with the Lord that's all gone.

    We should rejoice that the righteousness in us is Jesus, the Father see's His son in each of us who truly are born again. And He who starts a good work in us is just to finish it.

    In terms of sanctification, hopefully we grow in grace in our sanctification and hypocrisy will leave us in that growth. The Holy Spirit point that flaw out in you in His due time if you listen. If you know you suffer with that now, then now is a good time to begin working on that and call on the Lord to help you.I can't tell you how that help will manifest or what it will look like. Sometimes it's rather shall we say dynamic lol.
     
  4. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    The only salvation issue is whether a person believes in The Messiah for God's free gift of Eternal Life.
     
  5. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could you direct me to the parable you refer to?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  6. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I often as a child joined in the hymn singing in church before I knew whether I was a christian or not. Is that hypocrisy? Sometimes I would say I had become a christian, but later would not be sure if I had. I had more or less an implicit faith, my Dad believed and so I felt at times I should believe and not question stuff so much.
     
  7. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  8. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    It should be around Matthew 18:21-35.
     
  9. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well having given a bit of thought about the context and that it followed a question from Peter, I am inclined to say a sanctification issue?

    What about non-believers and people who don't even seem to know they have sinned against me?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  10. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a ? Supporter

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    I have that same book by Spiegel, dms! It's a good one!

    In brief form, I'll just say that between what Spiegel says in his book and what you've already suggested about the nature of hypocrisy, I think we're hard pressed to know if whether any person's unique situation is merely one of sanctification or one pertaining to the integral need of salvation for that same person.

    I don't think it's as clear cut either way as some folks like to insist that it is ...
     
  11. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is a good study, i think I have read most of it. He seems to conclude hypocrisy is linked to avowals and disavowals, if I recall correctly (its been a while since I read it) he is writting for the christian and views it as a sanctification issue mainly, I would have to check it again (which I am going to) to see how he says it should be dealt with. I think that was the aspect of it I wanted him to say more about.

    I think i lean more toward Aristotlian / Virtue ethics. But I also think I have to act and do things like tidy, or study, or pray whether I feel like doing them and whether or not I feel any better afterwards. Having had periods of clinical depression I don't expect doing the dishes will always lead to me feeling a lot better, but at least it means they are done. I might prefer to do something else and sometimes need to force myself.

    Virtue ethics are concerned with finding the middle way between extremes. An archer aiming to hit a target might not pull back on the bow far enough and his arrow fall short, or he might over-pull and overshoot the target - so virtue ethics seeks the golden mean as it were on various ethical matters. Deontological ethics are about having a good will, and acting according to duty rather than self-interest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  12. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a ? Supporter

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    Ok. Reviewing it could be helpful. Let me know if there are any chapters or portions of it you want to discuss. If not, just know that in all you've expressed in this thread I'm sure the Lord knows you're single and have had some challenges in various ways. Just keep in mind that each new day is another opportunity to follow the Lord. Don't give up! (Although, you might keep in mind that different psychologists utilize different theoretical psychological models in their counseling, so there may be other Christian counselors you can find who may be able to encourage you in more constructive, useful ways ... ) :cool:
     
  13. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  14. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a ? Supporter

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    No, I don't think that to question reigning assumptions on either side of the divide for the sake of inquiry and clarification constitues a state of 'hypocrisy.'
     
  15. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    Robert Wright wrote that "Human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse." Humans are very good at challenging the beliefs of other people, but when it comes to their own beliefs, they tend to protect them, not challenge them. A consistent finding of psychological research is that humans are fairly accurate in their perceptions of others, but generally inaccurate in their perceptions of themselves. Humans tend to judge others by their behavior, but think they have special information about themselves – that they know what they are "really like" inside – and thus effortlessly find ways to explain away selfish acts, and maintain the illusion that they are better than others. (wiki.hypocrisy)

    How can we know ourselves when we constantly judge the lesser mortals?
     
  16. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    So assuming you interpret all passages with the same ethic, then hypocrisy is a sanctification issue.

    Works aren't required to receive the Holy Spirit.

    I've also noticed today that Christians tend to live by the "if you don't know, I'm not telling" policy, but the teachings of Jesus indicate that we need to bring something up if it's an issue for us.
     
  17. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If every issue of Jesus talking about Hypocrisy (rather than forgiveness) is in a context where that can be determined. But sometimes Jesus is rebuking Pharisees, and other times he is visiting a Pharisee for dinner and he is somewhat less stern, for instance he draws Simon the Pharisee whose house he was visiting on one occasion, he draws Simon's attention to the fact he didn't offer Jesus some of the basic courtesies like water to wash his feet, and contrasts Simon's lack of courtesy with the "sinful" woman who had entered uninvited and washed Jesus feet with her tears. I see the connection between forgiveness and one's attitude to the Lord. But are there degrees of hypocrisy? Was Simon the Pharisee a hypocrite?
     
  18. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I think there is an element of self-ignorance involved in the manner your writer describes it.
     
  19. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    None of us are 100% transparent, truthful, the same on the outside as we are on the inside. We’re not perfectly innocent IOW, the beings we’re created to be. We hide not only from God but from each other and even from ourselves. Pride is the main opposition to perfect truthfulness, innocence, love.
     
  20. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    I recall that one was about forgiveness also, Jesus explained that since the woman was forgiven much, she loved much, and since Simon perceived he as forgiven little, he loved little.

    As pharisee he should have understood that committing one sin is equal to transgressing the whole law, so his perception was hypocritical.
     
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